Most of the time, I don't notice JT's progress.
I think it's a combination of trying to bury the old memories (I swear I have PTSD from the early days of aggression and non-stop screaming when he was 2-3) and just seeing it unfold slowly - so I'm not seeing the overall monumental steps he's taken.
Then every once in a while, something happens where I think, "Oh my God. This is INCREDIBLE!"
Yesterday was one of those days.
This time last year, we had a snowstorm here in Central NC. I had to take JT to the grocery store to buy groceries for the few days we'd likely be stuck inside. It was a disaster. He tried to knock things off the shelves, threw himself on the floor, even tried to toss a case of bottled water on the floor. To clarify, I never took JT to the grocery store back then because this was not uncommon. I just had no choice that day.
Fast forward to yesterday. I was in the bottled water aisle with a calm, happy JT. He was talking my ear off, giggling with his sister and picking out items for his lunch this week.
Suddenly it clicked, and I had to stop. What the hell happened?! I can't even explain in words how amazing and astounding JT's progress has been. Or how lucky we've been (because trust me, I know not everyone is as lucky as we are). But how, in one year, did we go from single words, not going in public, constant tantrums, anger, rage, diapers... to THIS? This happy go lucky, funny, ornery, smart little guy?
The enormity of his progress just paralyzed me for a moment.
And I said my thank you's to God, the universe, and whoever else played a part. I kissed his head, laughed at his silliness, and moved onto the next thing he wanted for his lunch next week. And I prayed that in a year, I can have that moment again.